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2010 / 01 — January Issue of American Cinematographer
2010 / 01 — January Issue of American Cinematographer

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The January 2010 issue of American Cinematographer magazine showcases the magazine's updated look, marking our first redesign since 1998.

Avatar (20th Century Fox)
Fans of science-fiction and 3-D films are eagerly awaiting this epic action-adventure production shot by Mauro Fiore, ASC for director James Cameron, marking the latter's first narrative feature since the 1997 blockbuster Titanic. Sam Worthington stars as Jake Sully, a former Marine who was wounded in combat on Earth and paralyzed from the waist down; after agreeing to participate in the U.S. military's Avatar program, which enables him to walk, Sully is sent to the distant planet Pandora to search for valuable minerals to plunder. However, he soon integrates himself into the planet's Na'vi clan and develops loyalties that cause him to question his mission. Fiore will discuss how he helped to blend the picture's live-action footage with cutting-edge CG creatures and environments. Our coverage of this major event film will include details about the film's 3-D Fusion system, developed by Pace Technologies, and Fiore's use of motion-control systems from Camera Control. The cinematographer will also discuss his location work in Hawaii and New Zealand.

The Lovely Bones (Paramount)
Andrew Lesnie, ASC, ACS reteamed with director Peter Jackson on this big-screen adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestselling novel, in which a murdered girl is able to observe both her grieving family and her killer after her death. Lesnie will offer an overview of the ambitious production, which shot at locations in Pennsylvania and New Zealand, and details about his ongoing collaboration with Jackson, for whom he previously shot the sweeping Lord of the Rings trilogy and an ambitious reimagining of King Kong.

Sherlock Holmes (Warner Bros.)
Philippe Rousselot, ASC, AFC brings his stylish sensibilities to this action-packed adventure from director Guy Ritchie, who presents a brawnier but still brainy version of author Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective hero. This time around, Holmes must save England from a plot that thickens when a murderous cult leader (Mark Strong) promises to return from the grave as he is led to the gallows. Rousselot will present a behind-the-scenes look at his strategies both on the set and in the digital-intermediate timing suite.

ASC Lifetime Achievement Award
Caleb Deschanel, ASC will receive the Society's Lifetime Achievement Award at the 24th Annual ASC Awards ceremony, to be held in Los Angeles on February 27, 2010. The Lifetime Award is the Society's highest honor, presented annually to a cinematographer who has demonstrated a commitment to excellence over an entire career. Deschanel's résumé is certainly impressive. Five of his films have been nominated for Academy Awards for Best Cinematography: The Right Stuff, The Natural, Fly Away Home, The Patriot and The Passion of the Christ. He won an ASC Award for The Patriot and earned two additional ASC nominations for Fly Away Home and The Passion of the Christ, and also received a British Academy Award nomination for The Black Stallion. Deschanel's other credits include Being There, the Rolling Stones concert film Let's Spend the Night Together, The Slugger's Wife, It Could Happen to You, Message in a Bottle, Anna and the King, The Hunted, National Treasure, Ask the Dusk, The Spiderwick Chronicles and Killshot. AC contributor Jon Silberg will pen a comprehensive overview of Deschanel's life and work.

The January issue's departments will also offer illuminating insights:

  • Short Takes will feature an interview with Curtis Clark, ASC about his stylish approach to a new car campaign showcasing the Hyundai Sonata.
  • Production Slate will offer interviews with cinematographer Christian Berger and director Michael Haneke about their collaboration on the searing black-and-white drama White Ribbon, which won the Palme d'Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. This section will also feature a piece on the phantasmagorical fantasy film The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, shot by Nicola Pecorini and directed by Terry Gilliam.
  • Post Focus will present an overview of Technicolor's Fanfare Dailies and the company's new headquarters in Hollywood.
  • ASC Close-Up will offer a profile of Society member Billy Dickson, whose cinematography credits include the television series Ally McBeal and One Tree Hill, the TV pilot Babylon 5: The Gathering, the horror film Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and the Web series IQ-145.